There comes a point every year when we lecture you on all the ways you approached your New Year's resolution wrong (Mistake #1: You waited until January 1 to begin your training or diet overhaul, rather than August 1 when you first had the idea).

Well, we've got a novel idea that'll save you the misfortune of said lecture: Set yourself up for success, rather than suffer the inevitable pitfalls. Here, five smart ways to avoid the dreaded resolution failure. 

1. Never set vague goals.

“Get in shape!” is too ambiguous; keep ’em concrete. If you want to gain muscle, set a goal of “gaining muscle.” Period.

2. Never throw in the towel after a small relapse.

Shit happens. Accept it. Don’t give up on losing 20 pounds just because you had two cheat days in a row. Get back on your plan.

3. Never coast and forget.

How many times have you made a resolution on Jan. 1, then forgotten it by February? Make a point to toss a monthly reminder on your phone’s calendar.

4. Never brag about it to your friends.

Even if you accomplish your goals, you become insufferable. Don’t be That Guy.

5. Never set unrealistic goals.

This can backfire. So maybe your resolutions shouldn’t be “5% body fat, make my first billion, and marry Margot Robbie.”

Jeff Wilser is the author of Alexander Hamilton’s Guide to Life. Follow him on Twitter.